SAC Sound-Off: Glad to be an AD's Son

October 30, 2012

By Coby Ryan
Manistique junior

“Oh, you’re Rob Ryan’s son, right?”

As a student-athlete, I hear that all the time. The Upper Peninsula is a tightly-knit network in the sports world. Names, faces, and schools are heavily interconnected. And as the son of Manistique’s athletic director Rob Ryan, everything in that perspective is multiplied.

There are certainly perks to being my father’s son. At every away game I attend, I am greeted by some coach, athletic director, or other school official who already knows my name before the game even starts. Also, we have unlimited access to the gym. It is hard to stay connected to statewide sports living where I do, but having my dad as an AD helps. We always attend the MHSAA Boys Basketball Finals in East Lansing through him, and we love it. Finally, he introduced me to the MHSAA Student Advisory Council, and I am extremely thankful for that. He has more sports-related access than most people, and I benefit from that.

There also are some traits of being an AD’s son that people probably do not see if they do not have a similar relationship. I definitely am held to a higher standard, both academically and athletically, because of my father’s position in the school. This pushes me to be the best student-athlete I can be, and for that I am grateful.

But, there can also be a feeling of being overshadowed by what he does. I am my own person; I am not my father. Many times, I am identified by his achievements, not mine. If I play a good game, I’m “Rob Ryan’s son,” not “Coby Ryan.” Identity problems can be an issue as an athletic director’s child, but this motivates me more to want to be called by my own name because of who I am and what I’ve accomplished.

When I am attending or involved in an athletic competition, my peers and I do not have the same experience. They all see the players playing, a couple guys reffing, and some other people doing statistics or something; they don’t really care about the details. They are just there to watch the game.

When I go, I see things in an entirely different light. I see a team that arrived on the field or court without a hitch because my dad was there to greet them, show them where everything was, and make sure they were all settled in. I see an unbiased, professional officiating crew contracted by my father from a different community. I see scorekeepers, announcers, timers, and statisticians, all hired by him because of their knowledge of the game being played and their ability to perform the task given to them. When there are unruly fans, coaches, or players, I see people that my dad has to deal with by getting them out of the game so enjoyment is not taken away from the rest. In the student section, I am much more aware of sportsmanship and what is appropriate or inappropriate for a high school game than my peers because of him. Being his son puts a whole new perspective on how I view the game.

Through my dad, I can be much more involved in my community’s sports, even if I am not playing all of them. He taught me how to keep stats for basketball games. He had me announce JV football games. I have been a referee with him in local basketball tournaments. Also, we coached a girls basketball travel team together. These opportunities all arose from his being an athletic director.

Overall, I love being my dad’s kid. We both love high school sports and get to enjoy them in more ways than most fathers and sons ever will. I believe there are some negatives to it, but I find that in the end these actually just make me a better student-athlete and a better person. I guess I am pretty lucky to be “Rob Ryan’s son.”

Coby Ryan, Manistique junior

  • Sports: Football, basketball, track and field
  • Non-sports activities: Class President, Quiz Bowl, Drama Club, Glee Club, National Honor Society, Spanish Club, YETI, Academic Booster Club Class Representative
  • Favorite class: Gym
  • Up next: Ryan hopes to attend the University of Michigan. 
  • Shining moment: Scoring 22 points and beating our rival Big Bay de Noc in JV basketball.
  • Pump-up jam: "Winner" by Jamie Foxx (with Justin Timberlake & T.I.)
  • Must-see TV: "The Office"
  • Favorite films: "Step Brothers" and "The Dark Knight"

PHOTO: Manistique junior Coby Ryan stands with parents Christi and Rob during his football team's Parents Night this fall. 

Performance of the Week: Hudsonville's Ava Snip

June 20, 2024

Ava Snip headshotAva Snip ♦ Hudsonville
Senior ♦ Softball

The Eagles' senior standout threw a complete-game one-hitter Saturday as Hudsonville defeated Lake Orion 5-0 in the Division 1 Final at Secchia Stadium, not only clinching the program's first championship since 2012 but also finishing a perfect season at 42-0. Snip struck out eight batters, walked three, and allowed just a fifth-inning single before getting out of that inning with a flyout and double play.

Snip finished this season with a 19-0 record, 0.54 ERA and 208 strikeouts over 129 2/3 innings pitched while splitting starts with senior Elly Koopman, who finished 18-0 and threw a shutout against Farmington Hills Mercy in the Semifinal. The team's 42 wins are tied for 10th-most for a single season in MHSAA history, and Hudsonville is the only team to win at least 42 games and finish undefeated. Snip was one of five Eagles selected to the Division 1 all-state first team. She next will attend Western Michigan University and study occupational therapy.

@mhsaasports 🥎POW: Ava Snip #softball #hudsonville #letsgo #champion #pitcher #part1 #highschoolsports #tiktalk #interview #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

@mhsaasports 🥎POW: Ava Snip #tiktalk #questiontime #part2 #outerbanks #zachbryan #chickfila #nighttime #performanceoftheweek #mistudentaid #fyp #MHSAA ♬ original sound - MHSAA

Follow the MHSAA on TikTok.'s "Performance of the Week" features are powered by MI Student Aid, a division within the Department of Lifelong Education, Advancement, and Potential (MiLEAP). MI Student Aid encourages students to pursue postsecondary education by providing access to student financial resources and information. MI Student Aid administers the state’s 529 college savings programs (MET/MESP), as well as scholarship and grant programs that help make college Accessible, Affordable and Attainable for you. Connect with MI Student Aid at and find more information on Facebook and Twitter @mistudentaid.

Past 2023-24 Honorees

June 13: Claire Marosi, Grand Rapids Catholic Central lacrosse - Report
June 6:
Emmry Ross, Onsted track & field - Report
May 31:
Isaac Sturgess, Flint Powers Catholic baseball - Report
May 30:
Abby Russell, Allen Park track & field - Report 
May 23:
Isabel Thelen, St. Johns tennis - Report
May 16:
Ally Katinas, Novi lacrosse - Report
May 9:
Peter Roehl, Rochester Adams golf - Report
May 2:
Lilah Smith, Richland Gull Lake soccer - Report
April 25:
Mason Mayne, Lawton track & field - Report
April 18:
Alli Wright, Jenison softball - Report
April 11:
Chloe Wishart, Trenton soccer - Report
March 28:
Jenna Maki, Ishpeming basketball - Report
March 22:
Jaremiah Palmer, Niles Brandywine basketball - Report
March 15:
Leah Hodge, North Farmington gymnastics - Report
March 8:
Darius Marines, Detroit Catholic Central wrestling - Report
March 1:
Rylee Smith, Zeeland West bowling - Report
Feb. 22:
Caleb Lewandowski, Traverse City West skiing - Report
Feb. 15:
Jadin Mix, Onaway basketball - Report
Feb. 8:
Onalee Wallis, Cadillac skiing - Report
Feb. 1:
Abbey DeGraw, Rochester Hills Stoney Creek competitive cheer - Report
Jan. 25:
Ewan Todd, Riverview swimming - Report
Jan. 18:
Ashley Weller, Jackson Northwest basketball - Report
Jan. 11:
Michael Baldwin, Saginaw Arthur Hill wrestling - Report
Dec. 15:
Jena Fijolek, Fenton bowling - Report
Dec. 8:
Sophia Wagner, Escanaba gymnastics - Report
Dec. 1:
Isaiah Marshall, Southfield Arts & Technology football - Report
Nov. 24:
Sarah Bradley, Clarkston Everest Collegiate volleyball - Report
Nov. 17:
Kalieb Osborne, Waterford Mott football - Report
Nov. 10:
Tekalegn Vlasma, Muskegon Western Michigan Christian soccer - Report
Nov. 3:
Colton Kinnie, Birmingham Seaholm football - Report
Oct. 27:
Lauren Timpf, Macomb Lutheran North golf - Report
Oct. 20:
Alena Li, Okemos golf - Report
Oct. 13:
Seth Norder, Grand Haven cross country - Report
Oct. 5:
Paige Anderson, Muskegon Reeths-Puffer golf - Report
Sept. 29:
MacKenzie Bisballe, Lake City volleyball - Report
Sept. 22:
Jhace Massey, Gladwin football - Report
Sept. 15:
Kaylee Draper, Sturgis swimming - Report
Sept. 8:
Owen Jackson, Traverse City St. Francis tennis - Report
Sept. 1:
Rachel Forsyth, Ann Arbor Pioneer cross country - Report